Connecting With Nature In The Time Of COVID-19

July 11, 2020

Quote of the Week

"The Earth is what we all have in common." --Wendell Berry

Connecting With Nature In The Time Of COVID-19

There is a lot of research showing the benefits of spending time in nature on mental health. Connecting with animals, whether wild or domestic, may also offset the downside of social distancing. These connections to other species seem very valuable, especially during this time.
The Children and Nature network has posted a list of 10 nature activities a family can do while being sequestered during this pandemic. 

One activity is to find your own special "sit spot" and get to know and observe all of the other living beings that share your space.  By sitting for a long time in your spot and observing all of the life that surrounds you, you realize that you are not alone in the universe.  Watching nature unfold in the same spot, every day, over weeks, months, and seasons can be a form of deep meditation on the interconnectedness of life, and can also reduce feelings of isolation. Welcome the trees, birds, insects, animals, and flowers that you see from your spot and get to know them as you would a new friend. 

Take a closer look at this topic in an interview with Richard Louv (author of Last Child in the Woods) in this week's featured post from PRI (Public Radio International).

Reading Corner

Title: The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever
Written by: H. Joseph Hopkins
Illustrated by: Jill McElmurry
Recommended ages: 5-10

Echoing Barbara Cooney’s Miss Rumphius in artistic style and theme, this picture book biography recalls the life and contributions of a horticulturist in the late 19th century. Kate Sessions populated San Diego’s landscape with not lupines but trees. Her love for nature dated back to her childhood, where, in school, “she liked studying wind and rain, muscles and bones, plants and trees. Especially trees.” McElmurry’s (Mad About Plaid) naïve illustrations are packed with patterns, from the dusty brown houses Sessions views as she docks in San Diego to the teardrop and polka-dot motifs in the trees. Likewise, debut author Hopkins skillfully employs a pattern in his narrative, a catchy refrain that emphasizes Sessions’s can-do attitude: “Not everyone feels at home in the woods. But Kate did.... Most San Diegans didn’t think trees could ever grow there. But Kate did.” Vignettes that include muddy handprints, labeled plant cell parts, and trees subtitled with their Latin names complement the larger gouache spreads, and a concluding note explains more about the inspirational spirit and work of a pioneering arborist. --Publisher's 

Be the Change

Find a "sit spot" and keep a journal with you along with your children as you spend time in that spot and notice all of the other living creatures that share your space. Take time to get to know your special spot and record your observations each day over the changing seasons.